The Believer’s Warfare

There has ever been a constant battle between two opposing forces, the one contending for the TRUTH and the other for the LIE.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

There are two goals that Satan desires most of all. One of his desires is to be worshipped and the other is to blind the eyes of men which destroys the purposes of God for mankind. For God would want all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim.2:4). This can only be done by believing in His finished work on the cross.

Know they Enemy – Satan’s First Attack

Genesis 3 gives us a good example of how Satan operates. He not only causes DOUBT in the mind of Eve when the Serpent asked her ” Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?

But also convinced her into believing that God didn’t really mean it when He said “Thou shalt SURELY die”. Satan then proceeds to add his own words to totally contradict what God had told her with “Thou shalt NOT surely die, (v.5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
When Eve believed Satan’s lie it caused DISASTROUS effects, which brought death and sin into the world.

What are the ramifications of believing what Eve had been told by Satan? To believe such a lie is to believe that we can be independent of God in life or in death. To believe the lie is to also disbelieve in the work of Christ on the cross. He died so that we might have life and those that believe in Him will follow Him in resurrection on the day he calls them to their eternal home.  We have no life of our own as an “immortal soul”. We cannot release ourselves from the powerful grip of death. Christ alone has the power to release us from the grave (Phil.3:10,11). Why would we need Christ’s resurrection power if we already possess this power within ourselves?
Think about it.

Refusing Instruction

2 Tim 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2 Tim 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Here is another example of how Satan works. Notice that the devil had captured them, not by their immorality or carnality, but by their refusal of instruction that would have given them repentance to the acknowledging of the TRUTH. It has always been Satan’s greatest desire for man to turn away from the Truth, to believe in fables and lies, and to believe that we can have never-ending life within ourselves. He would have us to be confused about the Word and about our calling and walk in Christ. Pride can get in the way of repentance, but the Lord gives grace to the humble and resists the proud (1 Pet.5:5). Therefore we must always welcome instruction and correction from the Lord.

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Be No More Children

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Children really don’t know any better when it comes to beliefs. They tend to believe about anyone or anything, even in fables if it sounds good to them. The Corinthian church is a good example of how carnally minded children behave. They could only stomach a little milk of the Word with only a few doctrines (1 Cor.3). Because of their carnality, they were not equipped to go on to perfection because they were walking in the old carnal nature and not the new. In order to walk in the new nature, the new believer must be fed with the pure milk of the Word of God.

1 Pet 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Growth can only occur by feeding on the Word of God. When we grow from milk to strong meat, then we are fully equipped to discern what is the truth and what is a lie.

Our Present Calling

After salvation the believer is admonished to go on to perfection(Eph. 4:13). This walk involves keeping the unity of the Spirit, increasing in the knowledge of God’s Word, and walking in the hope of His calling (Eph.4:3,13). See chapters 4-6 of Epheisans which concerns the walk of the believer in the present calling.

But, in order to walk in the calling of today, right division is essential (2 Tim. 2:15). Rightly dividing the Word is called such slanderous names as “ultradispensationalism”, “Welchism”, “Bullingeritism”, etc…This is a tried and proven technique of the Devil. This name-calling has caused many of the saved to turn away from the essential element of understanding God’s Word and the present calling.   Therefore confusion gives way to understanding as they continue to be blinded by the traditions of the hope of the Kingdom calling from the past dispensation.

All members of the Church of the One Body are predestinated to obtain an “inheritance” (Eph.1:11) and no condition is attached to it. Our glorious position in Christ as members of the One Body is a result of Him making “us ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED” (Eph.1:6). Our acceptance “in the Beloved” is entirely of grace; absolutely no merit on our part is attached to this. The adversary would have the believer striving to make himself accepted. The LIE would have the saint believe “carnal ordinances” (Heb. 9:10) are essential to “holy” living.

The LIAR would have the believer become occupied with his salvation, his holiness, his witness, his testimony, his “gifts,” or his unworthiness, or his worthlessness, or his sins, or his failures; anything to keep him occupied with himself instead of what Christ Jesus has already accomplished on his behalf.

When a believer grows “from faith to faith” (Rom. 1:17) he “sees what is the fellowship of the Mystery” (Eph. 3:9) and begins to comprehend with all saints the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:18-19). Of course the devil would have the believer “do service unto them which by nature are no gods” (Gal. 4:8) or he would have a believer turn again “to the weak and beggarly elements” (Gal. 4:9). He would have us “observe days, and months, and times, and years” (Gal. 4:10).
The issue is no longer that of the believer’s position in Christ, which is fixed. The issue changes from that of the believer seeing that he stands “complete in Him (Christ)” (Col. 2:10), having been made “meet” to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12), to that of something to be GAINED or LOST. A member of the Church cannot make his place more secure, since his security rests in the finished work of Christ, he cannot make the attainment of the “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13) more sure. Membership and Hope alike are ours completely, fully, and irrevocably in Christ. What the Devil would do is to obscure the fact that there is something to be obtained. There is something to be won or lost.

The revelation of the Mystery is not GRACE ALONE, for this dispensation as all others knows nothing of privilege without responsibility. Truth in the “form of sound words” is balanced Truth. In PLAINER WORDS Truth is presented or expressed in two sides of the Christian life. Notice . . .

Salvation Service
Free gift Reward
Not of works Unto good works
If we be dead with Him we shall live with Him If we suffer we shall also reign with Him.

Salvation of the believer in the Church which is His Body is fixed and unchangeable. It has to do with an inheritance that is free and predestinated. The devil does not waste his energy in attempting to deprive us of our inheritance “in the Beloved,” but rather he attacks that which can be GAINED. As in other “callings” there is a prize to be won, a crown to be gained, but no man is crowned except he strive lawfully.

Let No Man Bequile You of Your Reward

In Colossians 2:8 and 2:16, warnings are given to the believer such as “Beware” or “Let no man beguile you of your reward”, which clearly indicates that something can be taken away from the Saint, something can be lost. Just as the Overcomer was promised reigning with Christ at His earthly Kingdom for suffering, the Saint of the Mystery is promised reigning with Him in heavenly places for suffering also. If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.

“I press toward the mark for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil.3:14.
“And if a man strive for masteries, yet he is not crowned, except he strive lawfully…If we suffer, we shall ALSO REIGN with Him:” 2 Tim.2: 5,12

These extras are to be obtained and they are connected with our walk, which is resultant of enduring, suffering, and conformity to the death of Christ. Satan would like us to believe that we all will receive the same rewards at His appearing in glory. The Word of God is contrary to this line of thought, for we are told that all may run in the race, but all do not win the prize, so the exhortation is “So run that ye may OBTAIN” (1 Cor. 9:24-10:13).

The Lord Jesus Christ – Our Armour

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

1.”Put on the whole armor” vs.10,11,13 – Christ is our armour and strength, We are not able to fight the fiery darts of the wicked one without the power of His might.

2.”Loins girt about with truth.” vs.14 – “the Lord said He was truth” (John 14:6). “Thy Word is Truth” (John 17:17).
We are to rightly divide the Word of TRUTH, so that we can be established in the present truth for today (2 Tim. 2:15, 2 Pet.1:12).
We must also reject the philosophies and traditions of men and anything else that is contrary to the Word of Truth (Col. 2:8, 1Tim. 4:1-3).

3. “The breastplate of righteousness.” v.14 – He is our righteousness.
(Rom. 5:19-21, 2 Cor. 5:21, Rom. 3:10). “…there is none righteous, no, not one.”  We have no righteousness of our own apart from Christ.

4. “Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”v.15 – He is
our peace and made peace for us by the blood of His cross. (Eph. 2:13-14, John 16:33, Col.1:20,21).
Satan would have us believe that we have to do something more to make peace with God, but our works are as filthy rags (Is.64:6). God has prepared for us works to do after receiving His salvation, (Eph. 2:10).

5. “Above all…the shield of faith.” v.16 – He is our faith and He is faithful, and we are to hold fast the faithful Word of God (Titus 1:19, 2 Tim.2:13).
Gal. 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

6. “Take the helmet of salvation.” -v.17 – He is our only salvation,
(Acts 28:28), and the salvation to the world, (1 Tim.1:15).
Satan would have us believe we must do something for this salvation other than believe in the finished work of Christ.

7. “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” v. 17 –
Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword…” Our offense is powerful indeed. The Lord three times rebuked Satan with “It is written…” Let this be our example.

In summary, we are to put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The armor is Christ, the Word, who is:

1. Our Strength
2. Our Truth
3. Our Faith
4. Our Righteousness
5. Our Peace
6. Our Salvation
7. Our Sword

Let us pray for all saints to put on the whole armor of God.

The Battle of a Lifetime

The believer that is concerned with keeping the Word of Truth and who desires to move on from “faith to faith” and go from childhood to “perfection” (Heb.6:1) finds himself engaged in a battle that lasts a lifetime. Satan’s desire for the believer of the Mystery now is to set our minds on earthly things, to fix our mind on ourselves, not holding the Head from which all the Body by joints and bands have nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God (Col.2:19).

Let us therefore stand as saints unashamed by rightly dividing the word. Let us hold the Head, and press on for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Set your affections on things above and not upon the earth. This is what the Saint is to be occupied with. When we keep our minds upon the Lord and His Word, then we are able to quench the fiery darts of the Wicked One.

Note: Excerpts of this study are from “The Gift, the Hope, and the Prize” by Tom Ballinger.

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